Resurrecting a Brother Printer after a Failed Firmware Update

Yesterday, the status monitor software of my Brother HL-2250DN informed me about a new firmware update. I decided to install the update, but at 90%, the update process interrupted. The update tool complained that it cannot connect to the printer anymore.

After a few minutes, I switched the printer off and on again, but apart from short flashing of the LEDs it was dead. No fan blowing as usual, no network connection. When I connected the printer using USB, it was recognized as “BrotherHL2-Maintenance”, which seems to be an interface to the printer’s bootloader for authorized service partners which can be used to restore the firmware.

So I called a service partner, but the result was disappointing: Firmware updates are not covered by Brother’s warranty.

Firmware Restore Tool / Driver

In order to use the BrotherHL2-Maintenance interface to restore the firmware, you need a driver for the interface. These drivers are available to authorized service partners only. After a bit of research, I found out that the driver ZIP archive is called The file can be found using Google, for example here. You also need the firmware restore tool which is called FILEDG32.exe.

The device driver requires a 32-bit Windows XP or older. As I’m using a 64-bit Mac, I had to set up a virtual machine (VMware Fusion) running Windows XP.

After installing the device driver, the FILEDG32.exe tool can be used to upload firmware to the printer by simply dragging the firmware file onto the Brother HL2 Maintenance Printer icon.

Finding the Firmware

The hardest part was to find the appropriate firmware for the HL-2250DN. At the Brother website, you can only download a firmware update tool which does not contain the actual firmware data but downloads it from the web. Of course, the tool does not recognize the BrotherHL2-Maintenance and fails (no printer found).

The Mac OS X version of the firmware update tool is a Java application which can be analyzed quite easily after decompressing the JAR file. Analysis of the application shows that it gets the link to the appropriate firmware from a web service located at

You can simply forge a request for the HL-2250DN printer to retrieve the link. Just create a file, e.g. request.xml, containing the following request:


            <NAME>HL-2250DN series</NAME>

Then, post it to the web service, e.g. using curl:

$ curl -X POST -d @request.xml -H "Content-Type:text/xml" --sslv3

You will get a response containing the firmware download link:


Now, just download the firmware (.blf file) from that location.

Restoring the Firmware

Connect the printer to a Windows XP machine and install the device driver (see above). Start FILEDG32.exe and drag the firmware file (e.g. LZ3514_J.blf) to the Brother HL2 Maintenance Printer icon.

filedg32.exe utility used to flash Brother printer firmware

The printer’s LEDs will start to flash during the process. The process is finished when all LEDs are on. Power-cycle the printer and it should come back to life!

Other Printers

This procedure should work for other Brother printers as well, as long as it is being recognized as BrotherHL2-Maintenance USB device in the device manager. You will have to find the appropriate firmware for your printer by using the web service. In the XML request file, replace the MODEL and SPEC fields and the FIRMINFO entries. Note that the SPEC field is empty for the HL-2250DN, but may contain a value for other printers.

You will have to know the correct MODEL and SPEC values and also the FIRMINFO entries. This can be quite difficult. I found out the values for the HL-2250DN by querying a functional printer of the same model using SNMP:

$ snmpwalk -c public <IP-ADDRESS> iso. 

SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.2435. = STRING: "MODEL=\"HL-2250DN series\"
SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.2435. = STRING: "SERIAL=\"...\"
SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.2435. = STRING: "SPEC=\"\"
SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.2435. = STRING: "FIRMID=\"MAIN\"
SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.2435. = STRING: "FIRMVER=\"1.15\"
SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.2435. = STRING: "FIRMID=\"BRNET\"
SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.2435. = STRING: "FIRMVER=\"1.10\"

15 thoughts on “Resurrecting a Brother Printer after a Failed Firmware Update”

  1. cant for the life of me find either any of the things i need to do this., FILEDG32.exe, or my HLL2360DW firmware. its been a nightmare. Any help would be great if you have time.

  2. I have gotten to the point of uploading the firmware to the “Maintenance Printer”, but cannot find the firmware for my MFC-L2703DW 🙁

  3. Hi, thanks for the precious infos. I was able to download my firmware but not flash it. I have a HL-1212w that was unpluged from the wall during the firmware update. All leds turns On when plugged in the wall, but looks dead.
    For the flash i have tried the USB method from another guy, but it doesn’t have a USB-A interface and the B one doesn’t seems to work with USB Drives. Doesn’t provide power either, there is just a 3,3v signal output on the data line.
    I tried your method with XP+Driver+.exe combo. The program indicates an upload towards the printer, but it doesn’t wake up. The print tail even terminates succesfully pc side, but nothing, the thing is bricked. Any suggestion? Thank you!

    1. Hi Charles, is the printer recognized in the device manager? After trying to flash the file and power-cycling it, is it still showing as BrotherHL2-MaintenancePrinter in device manager?

  4. Please help me, how can you download hl-1212w firmware. I cannot download hl-1211w firmware. curl response is “<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ ?><RESPONSEINFO><FIRMUPDATEINFO><VERSIONCHECK>2</VERSIONCHECK></FIRMUPDATEINFO></RESPONSEINFO>”

  5. Patrick really appreciate all your help on this – but finidng it near impossible to forge the request to get my firmware.

    I managed to find the brother maintenance driver and also the FILEDG32 but just can’t forget the request – and don’t have access to working printer. My printer is the MFC-7860DW.

    Thanks in advance

  6. managed to find the brother maintenance driver and also the FILEDG32 but just can’t forget the request – and don’t have access to working printer. My printer is the MFC-7860DW

  7. Hi,
    could someone help me with downloading the firmware for Brother DCP-J105 printer?
    When i send request to service i only got response:


  8. Salut,

    Même problème avec MFC-J6955DW, je suis allé dans le gestionnaire de tâche et j’ai “tué” certaines application Brother qui tournaient et l’installation c’est terminée de suite !
    Test de l’impression = OK
    Chez Brother le matériel est bon, mais pas les logiciels et ce, depuis longtemps !


    Same problem with MFC-J6955DW, I went into the task manager and “killed” some Brother applications that were running and the installation ended immediately!
    Print test = OK
    Brother’s hardware is good, but their software isn’t, and hasn’t been for a long time!

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